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User Voice

nickh

nickh

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,428
Location
Birmingham UK
User Voice is part of BSMHT and has the objective of 'promoting user involvement in Birmingham and Solihull mental health services'. There are actually quite a few User Voice development workers. It is to some extent regionalised between the South, Heart of Birmingham, East and North 'directorates' (I am not sure of the exact geographic definitions of these 'directorates' but they don't matter that much for our purposes.

My own contact with User Voice so far has been to attend a couple of meetings, one for the East and one for the North (you can go to any meetings wherever you live in Birmingham though I would restrict myself to these two in general as that's where I live :)). These meetings are run by a User Voice Development Worker but in the first part of the meeting only Service Users can attend. It is a chance for people to raise any issues they want to and for the Development Worker to report on any things that might have happened arising out of issues raised previously. There is then a break for sandwiches and after that other professionals come in and talk about a particular issue.

User Voice is managed by a 'user-led management committee' and there should be members of the management committee present at all User Voice meetings.

There is also a User Voice Newsletter but I have only seen one issue of this (August 2007).

I don't have much knowledge or experience in this area as you can tell but will still make some observations (which I don't think are specially controversial). Starting with the positive - both meetings I attended were friendly and the guy who ran them was excellent (sadly he is now leaving!). The intentions seemed very good. But nonetheless there is a certain problem centred around the issue of independence. Because User Voice is within BSMHT can it really replace an independent voice for Service Users?

I raise the question, which runs into other threads, and hope very much there may be some response from people who are better informed than me.

And whatever the answer I would still encourage people to go to User Voice meetings and will advertise them here when I become aware of them.

The User Voice Core Office is at Ardenleigh, House No 3, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 9SA and the free phone number is 0800 694 0212.

:)) the fact that both the PMHG and User Voice have headquarters in my neck of the woods is pure coincidence btw).

Nick.
 
nickh

nickh

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,428
Location
Birmingham UK
User Voice South Forum

Meetings of User Voice are not on any regular schedule so I will post those I am aware of and then try to remember to issue a reminder nearer the time.

The two I know of right now are...

South Birmingham - at CEIMH, Birmingham University on Monday 31st March from 12-3 (its a long time because there is a break for lunch and sandwiches are provided :)). I'm not sure who the guest speaker is at this one. I won't be going to this one but if anyone does want directions to CEIMH I can try and provide them.

Heart of Birmingham - at Ground Floor, Magnolia House, Conybere Street, Highgate on Wednesday 16th of April this time from 1.00 to 3.00. The guest speaker will be the performance manager from the New Showell Green Lane Hospital. Again this is a bit off my territory - but I emphasise again that User Voice says any MHT Service User can turn up to any of the meetings irrespective of which part of Birmingham they live in.

Nick.
 
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